COTTONWOOD - Kamiah's quest for a prime seed into next month's district  volleyball tournament got a big boost by way of a comeback win over the host Pirates Tuesday night, Sept. 20, at Prairie High School.

"It's a big night for us," Kubs coach Jackie Landmark said. "I don't know when was the last time we beat Prairie, but it hasn't been since I've been in the program, so that's pretty exciting. I think that we hit really well. We had a lot of hitting errors in that first set, and we fixed that. Serving, I don't think we had any more than 10 serving errors all night."

The Kubs' 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 14-25, 25-23, 15-12) win over the Pirates kept them in the hunt for fourth place in the Whitepine League, with Troy, Potlatch, Genesee and Logos all having beaten KHS during the first half of their regular season. The Kubs will play each of those four again during the next three weeks, starting with a visit from Logos at KHS on Thursday night, Sept. 22.

"We lost to Logos in our first match of the season," Landmark said. "I don't think we were prepared. I think we were a little intimidated. Now I think we're ready to rumble. ... I think that we were too quiet, we played scared, and I just hit home with the players that every time the ball is on our side it is our opportunity to score. That is the mentality, that they're going to kill the ball. But they didn't play that way - they played more defensive. Now they play more offensive."

Kamiah trailed the first game against Prairie by as many as five, 17-12, before rallying to tie, 22-22, on a run of serves by Logan Landmark and hard hits by Karlee Skinner, who buried one at 22-21. After the Kubs tied, Prairie called timeout and then scored three straight points with Julia Rehder serving to take the game.

As luck would have it, the second game also came to a 22-22 tie, having tied at 5s, 6s, 14s, 15s, 16s, 17s, 20s and 21s as the teams went back and forth. Perhaps no single point exemplified the match better than the one that made it 16-16, which ended only after Kamiah's Nicki Proskine delivered a hard hit that the Prairie girls nearly corralled, but did not quite return.

After Kamiah's Mariah Porter took to the serve line with a 23-22 lead, Maddy Brotnov scored with a hit, making it game point; the Pirates won the next point, but a serve into the net leveled the match at 1-1.

Prairie led the third game by seven, 17-10, after a kill by Tara Schlader, as the Kamiah hitters' accuracy slipped. Trailing 5-4 early in the fourth game, Reesa Loewen stepped up with serves that won six points in a row. Prairie countered late in the game, and drew within 23-21, then 23-22 on a kill by Schlader, then 24-23 on another kill by Schlader; the next point went Kamiah's way, leveling the match - the first of a triangular night, with Grangeville also in Cottonwood - at 2-2.

The tiebreaker tied at 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s and 8s before Laney Landmark's kill put KHS up by two, 11-9. KHS won the next two points with Skinner serving, and turned away Prairie's last chance, as Schlader's serves brought the Pirates within 14-12, and no closer.

Kamiah then swept Grangeville 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-18), blunting a surge during the third game that saw the Bulldogs tie the score at 18-18. GHS had overcome a five-point early deficit to tie at 14-14, and pulled ahead, 17-15, before Logan Landmark served off the last seven points in a row to close out the match. Proskine booked nine kills against the Bulldogs.

The late match between Prairie and Grangeville also went three games. The Pirates won 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-15) after Julia Rehder's kill broke a 23-all tie at the end of the second game, which had been close to even throughout.

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